New Delhi: The government has initiated fresh steps to bring back former IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi, facing charges of financial irregularities in the conduct of the T-20 cricket tournament, from the UK where he has been staying for nearly two years.
The Finance Ministry, sources said, has written to the External Affairs Ministry pointing out that Modi continues to stay in the UK for a long time even though his passport has been revoked. The matter is, however, sub-judice. It has asked the Foreign Ministry to take the help of British authorities to get Modi back to India.
The request by the Finance Ministry, they said, has been made on the plea of the Enforcement Directorate which is probing the role of Modi in the alleged financial irregularities in the conduct of various editions of the T-20 tournament.
Asked about the developments, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said his Ministry and the Finance Ministry would be on the same page in the matter. He, however, added that he is not aware of the details of the issue.
"I have no idea. If they (Finance Ministry) would have written to me, we would obviously look at it. You know this issue is essentially territorial. If someone's decision is taken here and the person is in India, it has one kind of implication.
"If somebody is beyond our territory, we have to go through diplomatic channels. Whatever necessary needs to be done, we'll look at it. I mean, there can't be two different minds between us and the Finance Ministry, you can be sure of that," Khurshid told reporters.
When contacted, Modi's General Counsel and Constituted Attorney Mehmood M Abdi said that he is not aware of any such move by the Finance Ministry. Abdi added that "though it is an inter-ministerial correspondence to which I have no access, and therefore in absence of full details I cannot comment yet as reported by a section of media. If it is true then it's very unfortunate."
"Allegations of ED are false and motivated by extraneous reasons and all show cause notices of ED have been replied by Modi. The replies are in public domain and are available on the website of Modi. The revocation of passport was also arbitrary," he said.